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July 1, 2020

SHC directs oil cos to appear before FIA with relevant record

Top Story

July 1, 2020

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the oil marketing companies’ chief executive officers and representatives to appear before the Federal Investigation Officer’s (FIA) with all required documents.

The direction came on petitions filed by four oil marketing companies against raids and registration of FIR against a company and its employees on complaints of hoarding of oil following decline prices of petroleum products in the country.

The court, on a previous hearing, had restrained the FIA from taking coercive action against the private oil marketing companies, subject to their continues cooperation in the investigation by the FIA and proceedings being initiated by the oil and gas regulatory authority.

FIA Acting deputy director Siraj Panhwar submitted that the petitioners had not joined the investigation of the FIA despite the direction of the court. Instead, he said, their counsel was sending legal notices to the FIA for filing contempt application against the investigation.

The petitioners’ counsel, however, denied the claim of the FIA officer and alleged that the FIA was harassing the petitioners under the garb of investigation. The SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, directed the petitioners CEO and representatives of the private oil marketing companies to appear before the FIA officer in his office on July 1 (today), July 3 and July 7 along with all documents required by the FIA officer. The court also extended its interim order subject to all previous conditions and in addition observed that if petitioners did not meet the conditions stipulated in the order then the FIA would be at liberty to proceed against them.